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February 15, 2024

The Rumor Game by Thomas Mullen ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

A determined reporter and a reluctant FBI agent face off against fascist elements in World War II-era Boston.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of WWII murder mystery novel The Rumor Game by Thomas Mullen
February 2024; Minotaur Books; 978-1250842770
audio, ebook, print (368 pages); historical mystery

I read a lot of WWII fiction so it is great when I find a different story. The Rumor Game is a murder mystery set during WWII in the U.S. - Boston to be exact. It features a female reporter and an FBI agent.

I haven't read a lot of U.S. homefront stories so it is nice to see what was happening in the U.S. at the time. I've learned that anti-semitism and fascism were rampant. This book focuses on these issues.

I enjoyed the characters and while this reads like a stand-alone, I wouldn't mind a sequel just to continue to follow the lives of the characters. 

The female reporter, Anne, was raised Catholic but when her father dies she discovers that her mother is Jewish. She doesn't feel that she really fits into either world now. She is determined to fight injustice and uncover the truth. She writes a column called The Rumor Clinic where she debunks war-related misinformation. Her latest rumor hits a little too close to home and is much more dangerous than anything else she's covered.

Devon is an Irish-American Catholic FBI agent. As he is considered an existential war worker (he investigates possible cases of industrial espionage), he won't be joining up but that still weighs heavy on him as his brothers-in-law have enlisted. Irish-American Catholics are still looked down on during this period and he is one of the few in the FBI. He doesn't feel like he fits in either the community he grew up in or the FBI. 

I knew Anne's and Devon's paths would cross and I anxiously waited for it to happen. I knew that there was something deeper to their cases and I couldn't wait to see what direction the plot would take. I wasn't expecting the chemistry between Anne and Devon. They work really well together.

The murder mystery is complicated, with a number of twists and turns. There are so many socio-political aspects at play in this plot that you aren't sure if this is just a random stabbing or if there is something more nefarious at play.

It was a book that I wanted to sit down and read big chunks of at a time. When I finished it though, I was kind of sad as it was over. I want to know what happens next for Anne and Devon. 

Buy The Rumor Game at Amazon

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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